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Sieges Even - Paramount CD (album) cover


Sieges Even


Progressive Metal

3.97 | 186 ratings

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4 stars Paramount follows up the excellent The Art of Navigating by the Stars. Although the two albums share a lot in common, given the circumstances that surround both, one can understand that Paramount just does not reach the heights of Art.

SE got back together with their original guitarist, Markus Steffan and recruited a great new singer, Arno Menses prior to recording The Art. Why Steffan left in the first place is not public knowledge that I know of but there must have been issues with the brothers Holzwarth, who make up one of the best rhythm sections in the business. But all was well at the time and a huge musical statement was produced in The Art. The band then followed up with Paramount, only to disband in the months after the release. Perhaps old tensions surfaced again, but Steffan and Menses decided to strike out and start a new band called Subsignal. So perhaps Paramount was saddled with band strife and thus was not able to measure up to The Art.

Don't get me wrong, this is still a strong album. The metal is turned up a notch from The Art but still is used to enhance, not as a main element. Melody still is the key with the bass and drums being a huge part of the musical direction, not just a supporting one. There are no keyboards again (something Subsignal will have) but the sound is still as full as before and the prog label can still be used. The Art was really one long piece of music and each song really fit well and flowed together whereas Paramount is more patchwork with the songs standing alone. The recurring themes of The Art are gone as well. Steffan brings all of his tricks out again and is truly one of the underrated guitarists around. If I had to guess, I would think that three hugely talented musicians as this may have not wanted to make a The Art clone, but had finally tasted some success and maybe stayed the same course a bit unwillingly. Purely conjecture but plausible I think.

Here is one of the few times when the PA 1-5 star scale is really failing me. I gave The Art 4.5 stars and rounded it down. I felt the fact that there were no keys and not truly prog in everyone's mind kept me from calling it essential. I also believe that Paramount is better than three stars and if you like The Art, this would be a great purchase as well. So I am going to call this one 3.75 and am forced to give it the same score as The Art, even though it does not quite reach the heights as that wonderful album.

johnobvious | 4/5 |


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